Golf Courses

Permit Golf Courses to open for casual play NOT COMPETITIONS PROVIDED strict Social Distancing rules are applied and adhered to and only play at your own "Home" club
Most golfers do not get near to each other as their golf balls are normally well separated and they need to stand more than a club's swing length apart any way.
The only times there may be a risk is at the hole and at the teeing ground
The teeing ground is normally an area where the players stand well apart for safety reasons
The hole risk can be obviated by not touching the flags and only limited ball drop such as was implemented at my club prior to lock down
Added to which Golf Clubs can enforce strict Tee Off time separation
All golfers normally ware at least one glove if not two

Why the contribution is important

This will
1) Restore an important and uniquely Scottish part of the Scottish economy
2) Allow exercise in the open air
3) At the same time as limited socialising

by Braefoot on May 05, 2020 at 01:38PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.3
Based on: 194 votes


  • Posted by Christine May 05, 2020 at 13:41

    I don’t see why they should stay closed.
  • Posted by JJDunbar May 05, 2020 at 13:44

    Golf courses are like any other tourist attraction. They should remain closed until it is deemed safe for all areas where people gather in large numbers to open.
  • Posted by lisamcravey May 05, 2020 at 13:45

    It's a type of outdoor exercise with minimal contact, which would help boost mental health and exercise, along with helping private clubs economy, jobs etc.

    Could be done with maximum 2 players, social distancing, minimum time between tee offs etc.
  • Posted by raylow May 05, 2020 at 13:47

    I would welcome this as a way of seeing other people, albeit at a distance, ..and feeling some connection with somewhere other than the house and garden.
  • Posted by sl806e May 05, 2020 at 13:48

    Fully agree with golf courses opening but see no reason why this shouldn't include competitions (Medals) as long as you are playing at your own course and are following the rules on social distancing.
  • Posted by Donald May 05, 2020 at 13:49

    Agree with this approach. As a regular golfer staying apart from other golfers is easy. A maximum number playing together should be stated e.g. 2 players. Not all golf courses would require tee booking systems, my home course would have limited people playing during the day.
  • Posted by gandalf1 May 05, 2020 at 13:52

    You can easily play a 4 ball and social distancing guidelines be adhered to
  • Posted by amckerr May 05, 2020 at 13:52

    Excellent idea - lets make it happen
  • Posted by dvd8n May 05, 2020 at 13:52

    All outdoor sports that allow social distancing to remain should be allowed.
  • Posted by SJH May 05, 2020 at 13:53

    Easy to maintain social distancing - no different to walking in that sense
    10 minute intervals
    4 people in a group can easily keep social distancing guidelines in check
    Starter staff can stay behind screens
    Flags and rakes can remain untouched if needed
    Clubhouses and pro shops remain closed to start with in first phase
    Great exercise and good for mental health
    Keeps the clubs active and restarts, albeit slowly, a huge section of our tourism economy
    Part of our national and cultural identity

    One addition to this would be that I don't see why competition can't happen either. Does the virus know we are playing strokeplay a Medal or matchplay with friends? As long as social distancing is adhered to, easy solutions are available with compromises to help get us back to normal in one walk of life ASAP. But if for some reason golf is only allowed with competition, it's at least a step in the right direction.
  • Posted by KennyRbodie May 05, 2020 at 13:54

    Should be opened
  • Posted by Sue24 May 05, 2020 at 13:56

    Golf like all non contact sport should be allowed provided people observe social distancing and club bars remain shut. This is important for player wellbeing and the economy.
  • Posted by Dmac May 05, 2020 at 13:57

    Golf affords an opportunity to exercise safely within the current guidance. There are more people going to shops than you would ever encounter on a golf course
  • Posted by JamesB May 05, 2020 at 13:58

    I agree entirely with Braefoot's contribution, above. Golf in Scotland has a proud tradition of being a game for everyone, as evidenced by the fact that so many communities have a course within or nearby. It is by no means elitist. It offers healthy exercise in the fresh air and virtually every single course has in place a booking system, which can be used to ensure that play is well-spaced. Social distancing is easily maintainable during play.
  • Posted by Ghart May 05, 2020 at 14:03

    Good 3 hours of exercise for club members without using clubhouse, i.e. no use of bar, restaurant, changing rooms and toilets
  • Posted by JAShannon May 05, 2020 at 14:04

    Unless there is scientific guidance that there is a statistically significant higher risk of playing in 3 or 4 balls compared to a 2-ball, when all golfers can clearly sensibly socially distance, I would not arbitrarily limit to 2 balls.
  • Posted by miketrevett May 05, 2020 at 14:05

    Open the courses up, the only real area of difficulty is the Clubhouse and locker rooms and common sense can sort that out.
  • Posted by POLOPARKJ May 05, 2020 at 14:06

    We must allow businesses with lower risk to resume, with conditions in place. The more money back in the economy, every last penny, will prevent horrors that will be far worse than this virus for years to come
  • Posted by danifraser18 May 05, 2020 at 14:06

    No reason for golf courses to remain closed.
  • Posted by Arvika May 05, 2020 at 14:09

    Has to happen. My local course is full of people walking over it! No problems with social distancing...easily achieved. Would give a great mental and physical boost to people over a wide age range with little risk.
  • Posted by binky06 May 05, 2020 at 14:09

    Yeah I agree with majority here golf would be completely safe using social distance rules and give a big part of population a lift. I see Ireland are allowing from 18th May and Portugal from yesterday. Why not Scotland.
  • Posted by ElsieC64 May 05, 2020 at 14:09

    If you can open supermarkets and DIY centres it seems totally illogical not to open golf courses which are of course outdoors! Prior to lockdown, golfers were successfully implementing their own social distancing measures and will be quite able and willing to do this again. For both physical and mental well-being, this should be considered as a matter of urgency
  • Posted by BAG1BEA May 05, 2020 at 14:12

    Allow the golf courses to open, all course furniture can be removed where possible, and non contact method employed with flagsticks etc, social distancing can be easily adhered to on the course, but the clubhouse, locker room, toilets, and pro shops remain closed until further advice given
  • Posted by JHastie88 May 05, 2020 at 14:12

    See no reason why courses shouldn’t reopen!
  • Posted by Felvus May 05, 2020 at 14:13

    People are already walking around golf courses for exercise: why not hit a few balls as well?
  • Posted by tommyj12 May 05, 2020 at 14:16

    Totally agree--I used my hour long exercise to walk to my local golf course last week. It appears you're allowed to do anything right now on a Scottish golf course except---play golf! I witnessed people having a football match on the greens, people driving bikes across other greens, teenagers congregating (and pitching a hammock!) with no care about social distancing rules, etc. If we were serious about a full lockdown, I'd be more willing to do my part, but there clearly is no interest in policing and protecting Scotland's golf courses. It is a slap in the face to dues paying members to allow this to go on any longer!
  • Posted by JASP May 05, 2020 at 14:17

    Provided some simple precautions are taken, golf can be considered a low risk activity and should be opened up as soon as it is practical to do so. In this respect golf is no different to other non contact sports where, with some simple precautions, social distancing can be easily practised eg tennis, dinghy sailing, bowls etc. These sports and games should also be opened up as soon as practical.
    When it comes to the the gradual lifting of restrictions I think the focus of government policy should be on encouraging low risk, grassroots participation and not elite or professional sport
  • Posted by Panjam May 05, 2020 at 14:19

    I'd generally agree sports should be available where they can be done in a socially distanced way. The only thing about golf is that it takes up an awful lot of space, which is then lost to other socially distanced activities, particularly for kids who can't go to parks. In areas where there are many golf courses it would make sense if some opened back up to golf and others were kept as open spaces. Or let kids back into parks at the same time as golf courses reopen (I'd much, much rather take my kids to a playpark than take them onto a golf course but dont have any choice at the moment).
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 05, 2020 at 14:20

    No courses should be open. It is an excellent form of exercise, and is a great stress-reliever. What’s more it is outdoor and social distancing is incredibly easy. The only reason for banning it is that people cannot be seen to be enjoying themselves during a pandemic. Does that seem a good reason to you?
  • Posted by Teresa May 05, 2020 at 14:22

    Many people are using golf courses for exercise. Thought would have to go in to how this could be continued to be encouraged and supported especially in areas where there are limited other green spaces
  • Posted by RobertChia May 05, 2020 at 14:23

    Golfing in pairs from the same household or golfing on your own is as safe as you can get. This even if it requires a short drive to the golf course. The focus should be on avoiding physical proximity with persons not from the same household. Already pre-lockdown new rules had been introduced about not lifting flags and raising cups so ball can be picked up without touching sides of the cup.

    The physical and social benefits of golf has been well researched and shown to extend lifespans by up to 5 years among the elderly. For a country like Scotland with large expenses of open land, this should be exploited to ensure that the chances of coming into close quarters with someone infected is minimised. In my view and indeed experience living in a suburb, walking around your home estate is a higher risk than walking on a golf course. You are more likely to encounter other walkers, on sometimes narrow footpaths so even the 2meter distance may not be observed. Also, joggers who are unknowingly infected offer a far greater risk as some research has shown that droplets from such heavy breathing carry much further than 2 metres when running.

    In summary, singularly or golfIng in pairs, especially from the same household is as safe as you can ever get as a form of exercise. It is oftentimes safer than walking around your own estate, for instance.
  • Posted by Haffer May 05, 2020 at 14:24

    Should reopen as soon as possible. Players can arrive ready, easily manage social distancing. Great form of exercise and if people are able to walk the course whilst under lockdown why would playing golf increase any potential risk.
    Demand will be high but an element of the economy will start to slowly recommence
  • Posted by jimcoop May 05, 2020 at 14:32

    Fully agree with Braefoot's suggestion that there should be a relaxation of the Lockdown rules as far as golf is concerned as it very easy to maintain social distancing on a golf course. The Welsh Golf Association have produced detailed guidelines for a gradual return including: - Play restricted to Singles or small family groups only with 10 minute intervals between tee times; Casual Play only and No Competitions; Play to start at 1st hole only; No raking of Bunkers; Inverted cups to stop ball from going into hole and remove the need for touching flag stick (Flag sticks could even be removed); No ball washing equipment; No golf shoe cleaners; CLUBHOUSES TO REMAIN CLOSED. I go for my daily walk in Edinburgh's Inverleith Park and even under existing Lockdown rules there would be more people in the park at ANY ONE TIME than there would be on my golf course in a WHOLE DAY under the Welsh Golf Association proposals. I can see the need for being very cautious with restarting contact sports such as football and rugby but as many footballers and rugby players also play golf, it would at least give them the opportunity to get involved in a sport. From a purely selfish perspective, I am a widower living on my own who suffers from anxiety and the chance to get back on the golf course would do wonders for my mental health.
  • Posted by jh24 May 05, 2020 at 15:10

    Golf is no where near essential and there is much more efficient ways to exercise. Currently god courses are being used as additional green space for more people to use on daily exercise.

    Could driving ranges be reopened with social distance requirements to appease the golfers?
  • Posted by Thomas54 May 05, 2020 at 15:16

    Should be open with restrictions of no clubhouse opening and adhere to R and A guideline recently published, play in a 2/3 at 10 minute intervals even if for 9 holes to start with, play from 1st and 9th to accommodate all golfers, strange but true golfers love a rule so no one better to follow rules
  • Posted by Willyscotsman May 05, 2020 at 15:32

    Any green space such as golf courses should be given over to individuals and families who do not have access to gardens. This would ease the burden on parks and beaches. Every family or individual in Scotland should be able to have fresh air, exercise and a source of vitamin D.
  • Posted by CJ1993 May 05, 2020 at 15:37

    It makes more sense for people to be able to use golf courses for walking or running right now. The pavements are so narrow, it's difficult to socially distance. If golfers used the courses, the numbers that could safely use these areas would be greatly reduced.
  • Posted by Robert134 May 05, 2020 at 16:45

    Would be a good idea to open golf courses. Plenty of people on golf courses at the moment walking their dogs and enjoying the scenery. Golf is also for golfers who enjoy their game and walking in the healthy open air. Golf course are not really designed for dog walkers!
  • Posted by GordonI102 May 05, 2020 at 17:08

    Completely agree. I have no idea why golf courses have closed when they have demonstrated many ways in which social distancing can be maintained
  • Posted by GolfDuck May 05, 2020 at 18:23

    Please reopen the Golf Courses. It is an exercise that is fully compliant with Govt guidelines - physical distancing and daily exercise.

    Why is it Ok for our golf courses to be used by walkers and joggers but golfers are not allowed to use the golf course.
  • Posted by MadeinGlasgow May 05, 2020 at 19:08

    Medical evidence would seem to indicate that outdoor activities reduce the potential for transmission, assuming social distancing is maintained.
    Any outdoor activity that does not require physical contact and can be enjoyed by a maximum of two participants who can easily maintain 2m distance, surely has to be considered as minimal risk.
    As a member of a golf club I feel the benefits of allowing clubs to reopen courses, and only the course, as per R&A & Scottish Golf Union restrictions would be hugely beneficial, not only to golfers but golf clubs in general and Scotland as a country.
     Membership numbers are in decline, existing members already questioning the wisdom of renewing membership for an activity they are currently unable to participate in.
    The daily destruction of many years of hard work in maintaining a golf course, that has come about by virtue of the fact that the fairways are devoid of golfers, and are now in daily use by, cyclists, skateboarders, picnicking families on greens that have taken years to cultivate.
    If courses are ruined, membership falls, if membership falls, courses close.
    A future Scotland without golf! The vast majority of golf tourists come to play the many wonderful courses in Scotland, not only the elite courses on the Pro circuit.
  • Posted by morningsidemusings May 05, 2020 at 19:08

    Should be re-opened to allow a restricted form of golf:

    Social distance to be respected at all times
    Clubhouses to remain closed
    Pro Shops to operate like other small shops (One in, one out)
    No marking each other's scorecards (no competitions as a result)
    No handling of flag sticks
    Raised holes to avoid need to retrieve balls from a hole
    No long distance travel to play

    The benefits to golfers would significantly exceed the risk level.
  • Posted by Joanne May 05, 2020 at 19:26

    Outdoors, exercise, easy to socially distance - benefits big, risks small.
  • Posted by beykayak May 05, 2020 at 19:39

    Disagree with opening golf courses at this stage. Like any other business and sport it should be properly assessed and guidelines issued to ensure it is safe to do so. I would prefer to see other parts of society opened up first like visiting family or friends rather than golfing. Any increase will spread the risk of the infection rising again so I think we need to be sensible and prioritise the most important things in society first.
  • Posted by BrianPirie May 05, 2020 at 19:58

    Ridiculous that people can do all sorts of activities on golf courses except play golf. Perfectly safe to play golf in groups of up to four people observing social distancing.
  • Posted by Gavscot1981 May 05, 2020 at 21:34

    To be honest, if people can walk dogs, run, walk cycle in parks as long as they keep 2m plus apart, I see no difference in walking with golf clubs in a members “park” when everyone is walking in the same direction, and no chance of running, walking cycling into anyone on narrow path coming in the opposite direction. People would arrive in their own cars (set car parks up to leave 2m spaces). Play in up to 4 people, We all give each other safe space when swing clubs anyway, at the green, 1 person goes on green at a time and putts to a finish. Club houses closed and go straight home after.

    It helps people mental health, good for physical health and general well being, and can easily be done safely
  • Posted by CC001 May 05, 2020 at 22:19

    An obvious low risk exercise. Easy to put in additional mitigations. No use of bunker rakes. Don’t touch flags. Or remove them. Upturn holes. Maximum of two per tee time. 10 minute gaps between tee times.

    Great for older people to exercise and see people whilst distancing.
  • Posted by IainBlair May 05, 2020 at 22:36

    Golf is likely the safest naturally socially distanced sport. It provides exercise, fresh air and mental health benefits. Scottish Golf has issued additional guidelines which clubs had, prior to lockdown already implemented, that completely remove the need to touch any part of the course or its equipment such as flagsticks. Golf is played across the whole of society and is accessible to pretty much anyone who wishes to play at low cost and in close proximity almost everywhere. Golf is the most obvious thing to re-open and would be a tremendous boost to a large number of people.
  • Posted by GordonMichie May 05, 2020 at 23:11

    Whilst people are needing somewhere to get their daily exercise, closed golf courses provide an ideal area where social distancing is no problem.
  • Posted by M_Ross_54 May 06, 2020 at 11:19

    Obvious health benefits - vitamin D, exercising muscles, mental wellbeing. Could start with solo golfers being allowed and limit available courses to within a 10 mile radius of home. The only potential contact with others would be on arrival and departure at car park - easy to keep 2m apart for those brief instances. Lower transmission rate outdoors. No brainer!
  • Posted by Buzz May 06, 2020 at 12:43

    Golf aids mental and physical wellbeing and would benefit an otherwise largely-ignored section of the population (the 'active-retired'). There are numerous support and aid facilities for those at work, those on furlough, those working from home and the at-risk/over 70s etc, but nothing for those in the mid/upper 50s-70 group. They are at home with little or nothing to do. Mental and physical health is deteriorating. This is a 'no-risk', no-cost (to the Government) option. Courses should be open to members only (to preclude unnecessary travel etc) and, obviously, follow the guidelines already issued by the golfing bodies.
  • Posted by GeoffDuke May 06, 2020 at 13:02

    Not a golfer and i am baffled why they were closed in the first place. It is a recognized form of exercise where social distancing is easy. I understand that the clubhouse should remain closed but with staff contingency plans in place for public safety.
  • Posted by MichaelG May 06, 2020 at 14:00

    There's no reason golf can't be played with adequate social distancing.

    That said, golf courses have in effect become an extra space for walking, and, without the danger of flying balls, you can safely fit a lot of walkers on a golf course while maintaining social distancing. The number of golfers that can safely play on the same course is much lower.

    So perhaps golf courses in rural areas and other areas with plenty of park space should reopen to golfers, but other golf courses should remain accessible to walkers.
  • Posted by Edin1234 May 06, 2020 at 14:33

    Unless parks are re-opened first, then golf courses are providing an excellent open space for everyone to use. Not everyone has a garden.
  • Posted by Alandd May 06, 2020 at 16:51

    Fully support a controlled opening of golf courses on a members only basis initially.
    Times will be booked and all participants traceable.
    Clubs should marshal social distancing to ensure we don’t force a further lockdown.
    Buggies limit to single players (sorry older members). Assuming we can TT and I , then golf is very well organised to support social distancing.
    Let’s make a move soon then measure impact.
    Please !!
  • Posted by SAM May 06, 2020 at 17:38

    In theory - yes this seems like a simple, feasable and low risk idea.

    While it's a good idea - is it a priority?

    BUT who does it really benefit? Those who are financially secure enough to be able to afford a golf membership. And generally speaking, i think it's fair to say probably a comfortable home with a garden. Those who need it least. Right now.

    We need to focus our efforts at this stage on those who need it most and those with the most widespread benefits.
  • Posted by rst May 06, 2020 at 18:36

    In reply to @SAM bear in mind Municipal Golf Courses would be included and are by far more affordable and accessible to those with lower income/leisure card.
  • Posted by rossb May 06, 2020 at 19:45

    One golf courses for a maximum of three players per tee time (i.e. per game). This would allow for social distancing but would also maximise the use of the course. Golf is a game which is played as a single player, so is ideal for social distancing. To ensure fairness, private golf course should be encouraged to open up a percentage of their tee times to non-members, and to charge them members' guests rates for playing (much cheaper than the rates they would normally pay if they were just turning up looking for a game).
  • Posted by Cdeanoooo May 06, 2020 at 20:18

    Agree that golf courses could reopen. Clubhouse remains shut, 2 players per tee time, tee times spaced out....
  • Posted by Arturo May 06, 2020 at 21:58

    No reason to keep course closed - simple to put in place protocols to be followed. Not possible to police adherence to protocols but that applies to every activity and occupation
  • Posted by Magsathome May 06, 2020 at 22:49

    Outdoor exercise and easy to practice social distancing. Play in twos, same household if necessary and space out tee times. Keep clubhouses closed for now, turn up, play your golf and go straight home. Currently people are walking and jogging round courses, and even having picnics, so why not use them for their rightful purpose. Courses in Australia have not closed and social distancing measures operate.
  • Posted by zed9871 May 06, 2020 at 23:18

    Golf courses should be open for play as should all activities which can so obviously be done within the social distancing rules.
  • Posted by Hamsterpus May 07, 2020 at 00:06

    Use common-sense. Golf is a sport where social distancing is easy to achieve and good for health of older generation as well as young. Also stops taxpayer expense in furloughing greenkeepers. Get everyone out in the open air asap.
  • Posted by Jamielangston1 May 07, 2020 at 09:36

    At the minute I've started jogging because I can't play golf but really don't fare well if I stay in the house all day. I pass around 20-50 people depending on the time of day and there's not always 2m of space on the path. Open the golf courses and I suspect that golfers risk will be reduced and there may also be a bit more space on paths for walkers/joggers and definitely a few less cyclists on the road. Even it has to be solo rounds for a few weeks before 2 balls so be it.
  • Posted by Rupert May 07, 2020 at 10:43

    I see no reason why golf should be treated differently to allow an early return. Most golf clubs have used the furlough scheme for some employees, have applied for and been granted the £25k covid-19 grant and have zero rated business rates. They have also received their membership fees up front so as long as they have sound management then most golf clubs will survive. Golf clubs promote visitors and second home owners in to any area and lack any real system of effective infection control all of which will aid the spread of the virus. Wearing golf gloves will provide no protection as has been suggested because they are not disposable and they will have contaminated the handles of Golf clubs and any other object you touch during the course of a round. IMO Golf clubs should be the last to return as they promote gatherings and are a risk to the local community.
  • Posted by irene108 May 07, 2020 at 11:16

    Gold courses provide good, wide open spaces and therefore very easy to maintain social distance.
  • Posted by PeterCowen May 07, 2020 at 11:22

    10min tee-times and 2ball games is only 12 people per hour.

    I understand non-golfers may dismiss this as elitist or special but I can assure you the golfing community is a complete cross-section of the population, professors to labourers and all in-between.
  • Posted by Stircrazy May 07, 2020 at 11:59

    The country has to be looking to get back to some sort of normality, for the sake of the economy and peoples' good mental health. Lifting restrictions on golf and other "non-contact/ easier to maintain social distancing" sports just makes sense and shouldn't get caught up in peoples' views on inequality of treatment.

    It is an outdoor sport, where participants are generally distanced from each other and like all other ideas about how we get out of lock-down, needs to be decided upon based on a sensible assessment of measures that can be put in place.

    Carrying on without a plan, timescale or hope of resuming various activities may cause significant harm to the country for decades to come.
  • Posted by CD82 May 07, 2020 at 13:05

    Not sure why competition golf has been singled out.
    Competition golf can be played, the technology is there for all clubs to use smart devices for live scoring. Removes scorecards and all social interactions.
  • Posted by Dumfin02 May 07, 2020 at 13:15

    There is no reason why golf should not resume. Social distancing is easy and the exercise is important for physical and mental health.
  • Posted by randomchaos May 07, 2020 at 15:20

    This seems so obvious that it's hard to believe we're even discussing it. Golf is a sport that naturally lends itself to so-called "social distancing". It's good exercise and it gives people the chance to spend time out of doors. I think it would greatly benefit people.
  • Posted by Graham1 May 07, 2020 at 16:29

    Reinstating golf will be a great first step in the measured relaxation of current regulations. As already said, social distancing can easily be adhered to on the golf course. It will encourage exercise & allow golf club members to interact with each other from a safe distance.

    The benefits will undoubtedly be felt by other family members & friends as the joy of playing golf will act as a catalyst for improved social & healthy wellbeing throughout the entire country.

    Early resumption of golf is a quick & safe win for the government to take in getting the country back onto its feet.
  • Posted by simonnorris May 07, 2020 at 16:35

    Yes I think golf should resume.
    It is easily played while respecting social distancing - in fact was successfully being done before the lockdown!
    It is good exercise and benefits physical and mental health - for all ages. Golf is not an elitist sport in Scotland, it is played by all.

    Groups of 2, 3 or even 4 should be possible.

  • Posted by NH May 07, 2020 at 20:27

    OK as long as not travelling for long as then you increase use of petrol stations. Would need to stop people touching flag.
  • Posted by angelamcd May 07, 2020 at 21:00

    not a great idea ,where does it stop ,1st golf courses then football stadiums surely people can deal with this in the interest of public safety!
  • Posted by Iain60 May 08, 2020 at 05:54

    Open the golf courses please
  • Posted by ead125 May 08, 2020 at 08:35

    No reason to keep golf courses closed provided that social distancing measures are implemented. It gives a boost to health, physically and mentally. We played this way for a couple of weeks prior to the full lockdown so can easily do it again without any risk.
  • Posted by beejay23 May 08, 2020 at 08:39

    I could not agree more. Open up golf courses ASAP.
  • Posted by Hamsterpus May 08, 2020 at 09:11

    In Scotland, golf is for everyone, young and old. It is not an elite sport. Taxpayers are currently paying Furlough Greenkeepers wages but Greenkeepers work is outdoors, away from people, and has very low risk of transmission. Get them back to work and restart this part of Scottish heritage for the wellbeing of all. Same applies to all other outdoor activities.

  • Posted by Morningsideclock May 08, 2020 at 09:35

    Golf courses should be one of the first things to open as we come to the end of restrictions. Golf is not a contact speed, and being played at walking speed it is very easy to keep 2M apart
  • Posted by Mennieg May 08, 2020 at 10:19

    Agree with this approach. As a regular golfer staying apart from other golfers is easy. A maximum number playing together should be stated e.g. 3 players. We need to start seeing other people to benefit our mental health.
  • Posted by Inverness May 08, 2020 at 10:32

    Golf is compatible with Covid-19.
  • Posted by guard May 08, 2020 at 11:39

    Golf courses are currently being walked on for exercise purposes so no reason why golf cannot be played. People who play are very respectful of abiding by the rules of golf, so being equally respectful of following any new rules pertaining to social distancing will I am sure be equally well adhered to.

    It will be very easy to set up social distancing rules on a golf course such as staggering tee times, limiting the size of groups playing together (initially it could even be players only go out themselves), etc.

  • Posted by simonnorris May 08, 2020 at 13:52

    There is huge support for the re-opening of golf.
    I started a petition just over a week ago and it already has 1360 signatures.
    Please have a look -
  • Posted by kinnoullhill May 08, 2020 at 13:52

    It is clear that social distancing can be maintained while playing golf and simple, but important, measures can taken to make participation totally safe.

    There is no need to have clubhouses open and participants can arrive at predetermined times that ensure no gathering of people.

    Think also about the economic benefits of getting furloughed greenkeping staff back to work - which they can do safely.

    Bear in mind also the health and wellbeing benefits of enabling golfers play golf.
  • Posted by ReFi May 08, 2020 at 13:54

    Rules are already in place via R&A and Scottish Golf to ensure golf can be played safely and in accordance with social distancing policies Most, if not all, courses had these in place prior to the lockdown.
    Scotland is the home of golf and golf courses are open throughout the world during this pandemic.
    Golf provides excellent physical exercise and in addition should aid mental health for older, but otherwise fit individuals, who are isolating on their own. The latter may also apply to younger golfers too.
    Restrict golf to members of clubs initially at their home course and put the onus on clubs to ensure R&A rules are being observed by their members. Single golfers or pairs from the same household initially as per R&A guidance. No need to open clubhouses initially although this and use of courses by non club members could be phased in going forward. No need for competitions either initially.
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 08, 2020 at 14:51

    Restriction easing should be to allow people back to get back to work not social and leisure activities, this should be way down the priority list.
  • Posted by LaurieMcT May 08, 2020 at 17:03

    Golf is a non contact, individual sport with minimal risk regarding CV19. Social distancing is easy and natural in golf, especially with the additional practices mentioned in previous posts.
    The physical and mental benefits for golfers (and golfers spouses … getting them out the house) are obvious.
    The economic benefit to golf clubs, and all those who service the golf clubs, would be significant. Many members pay their fees monthly and, so far, most have been happy to continue paying despite getting no golf for their money. It's unclear how long they would continue to do this, which could result in some clubs folding.
    Easing of lockdown conditions has to start by taking some very low risk actions and carefully monitoring the results. Re-opening golf is one such minimal risk action.
  • Posted by rossb May 08, 2020 at 17:09

    As a golfer I agree with the sentiment, but golf courses offer valuable open space for people to take walking exercise; opening courses would close this off to all but members of private golf clubs. The privileged few, in other words. How about opening them only at certain times, such as 10 - 4? And how about allowing non-members to play for the cost of a member's guest ticket (significantly less than a visitor's ticket, but the cub would still get some revenue. This would make the use of a valuable exercise facility fairer.
  • Posted by sjl83 May 08, 2020 at 22:08

    No reason for golf courses to remain closed.
  • Posted by roxburs May 09, 2020 at 00:25

    Golf is a natural self distancing game anyway unless you want to be wacked in the head with a golf club and the rules introduced before the lockdown of not touching flag poles, inverted pin cups and no hand shakes demonstrated that the game can be played in a safe manner following distancing guidelines. The etiquette of golf is to allow space for a player to play his shot which makes it easier for golfers to extend this to all aspects of the game. It is the main source of exercise for a lot of 60 something players. It should be unlocked early in the process.
  • Posted by Fatfish May 09, 2020 at 08:53

    No argument, open the courses to members only. Households first and move on to 2 balls. Far greater risk going to the local co-op each week. Good exercise and great for your mental health. Most other countries are taking the same step.
  • Posted by Woodvale May 09, 2020 at 11:49

    Its a no brainer really.. Allowing golf courses to open for all the reasons given previously does not in any way breach current lockdown provisions. There is no risk to participants and no increased risk of viral spread . The R factor will not be put at risk.
    Unlike B&Q yesterday where due to very narrow isles it was impossible in some places to keep more than a foot away from other people. I left quickly.
  • Posted by Dawr May 09, 2020 at 12:49

    Would agree opening golf courses has more benefits than risks. Readily lends itself to social distancing. We need some progress back to normality, small steps see how it goes step back if necessary
  • Posted by Tinlegs1961 May 09, 2020 at 13:00

    Do we trust golfers to act reasonably within social distancing rules? Yes.
    There is little difference between playing golf and taking an exercise walk, which is deemed necessary and acceptable.
    Golf provides social interaction, (without the need to hug or touch each other.)mental stimulation and exercise
    It reduces the likelihood of members withdrawing their membership fees and keeping the clubs alive.
    Playing in 3’s in competition is normal, is controlled by ballot and keeps play moving quickly to get off the course in 3-4 hours.
    If the need to ensure gloves are worn and/or masks then I am convinced golfers would rather that than no play at all
  • Posted by Heron May 09, 2020 at 14:41

    I do not plan or enjoy golf but I agree, let them open but keep all indoor facilities closed other than the toilets. It's 'walking' with a club and ball.
  • Posted by Adtridkopp May 09, 2020 at 15:35

    Make it happen
  • Posted by Cliff_G May 09, 2020 at 16:08

    It's easy to achieve distancing on the golf course. Need to look at how to achieve this in the changing rooms and the clubhouse bar and Pro Shops, too. As for on the course, pairing the slicers with the hookers (no, not that sort), will improve separation!
  • Posted by DougyG May 09, 2020 at 17:21

    I'd love to see the golf courses open again with safeguards in place - there's no reason social distancing can't be maintained during any part of the game. Now that we're past the peak indefinite total lockdown will do much more harm than good
  • Posted by cmcclung May 09, 2020 at 17:23

    Non golfers are exercising their rights to walk all over golf courses already, mostly responsibly. Allowing local golfers to play at their local clubs will not change the current risk. Maybe limit distance that can be travelled to a course?
  • Posted by jimmac123 May 09, 2020 at 18:48

    It is difficult to understand why Golf Courses were ever closed - my club, like most, had already put in place obvious measures like rake removal, raised cups in the hole, and a strict no-flagstick-removal policy. I don't particularly think that a limit on player numbers is necessary - even in a 4-ball, it is easy to keep well apart - and it would allow more people to play. I can understand insisting on not allowing full Clubhouse access - at least unless bar/social areas can be re-configured - although clearly toilet access would be required.
    It does seem absurd that you can go out and run/walk for an hour - going past 50/60/70 people - 2m away of course - when, in a game of Golf, in 3 hours, you'd never be anywhere near your playing partners.
    I also think there is quite an important principle underlying this - namely trusting people to behave sensibly - or, in other words, treating people like responsible adults - I think Golfers have a reasonably good record on behaviour (as do Hillwalkers and Fishermen - but that's another 2 topics).
  • Posted by monobloc May 09, 2020 at 19:03

    I think closing golf courses is having a negative effect rather than a positive effect overall.
    Fine, no need to open the club house for meals and drinks but I don’t see a problem with two pals arranging to go for a game of golf together whilst maintaining social distancing.
  • Posted by JoyelG May 09, 2020 at 20:20

    Not a golfer, but can see all the benefits for those who are. Can’t see any strong arguments against re-opening. A tiny step towards ‘normality’ with negligible risks.....seems ridiculous not to re-open!
  • Posted by KarenShaw May 09, 2020 at 23:07

    Excellent idea, should allow any outdoor local exercise /sport that can be done on an individual basis and that can comfortably stick to social distancing rules. Big MH benefits. Would allow groups for golf, could initially be 2 balls then up to 4 balls. Allow completions also as make no difference.
  • Posted by Phillll May 10, 2020 at 00:05

    Great idea
  • Posted by AlexMD May 10, 2020 at 07:54

    Golf is not unique.
  • Posted by Hamsterpus May 10, 2020 at 08:07

    Now we have the stupid situation where our course is packed with youths in the evening as they know they can ignore social distancing, have barbies and raves, with no chance the Police can catch them.
  • Posted by b100gbar May 10, 2020 at 16:59

    The Irish Government in Dublin have now published a protocol to allow golf to restart on 18 May.

    This would be a sensible regime to consider and to modify if necessary
  • Posted by JohnMorton May 10, 2020 at 20:54

    Scotland is the home of golf, not the home of NO golf.
  • Posted by jeankemp May 11, 2020 at 00:36

    While the lockdown continues, golf courses provide green spaces for children to enjoy.
  • Posted by DaveMac May 11, 2020 at 12:52

    I support the call for the return of golf and have committed on a couple of “ideas” related to this subject.
    The proposed 10 minute tee time interval is impractical, particularly if games are restricted to a maximum of two individuals. Tee time management should be left to the discretion of the local golf club while ensuring social distancing compliance.
  • Posted by paddyinlothian May 11, 2020 at 13:57

    I think that golf courses should be rewilded so everyone can use them to exercise or given over to food production to help Scotland become food secure.

    If golf courses should reopen, I think they should be limited to women players only as the scientific evidence shows us that men are at higher risk of developing COVID-19.
  • Posted by NLME May 11, 2020 at 14:01

    I believe that although single play could be carried out in a safe way. There are a lot of further considerations. The clubhouse could be a potential area for spreading germs through locker rooms and toilets etc. Rakes used in bunkers would be touched by many as would the pins for the hole. To introduce competition play would then require completing score cards which would be handled by more than one person. Furthermore there would be the need to ensure that individuals do not try to join together for match play.
  • Posted by ColinLyon May 11, 2020 at 14:32

    I believe non competitive golf is safe with social distancing measures. This is easily achievable on the golf courses and car parks. The benefits are good physical exercise and mental health benefits.
    A quick win in the lockdown withdrawal process.

  • Posted by a1rankin May 11, 2020 at 17:54

    Totally agree golf courses should be open, makes sense, with view tweaks and caveats, can easily be done safely. Same already mentioned like don’t touch flagpole, I’d add bunker rakes and ball washers, anything that involves touch. Same with hole, must use gadget to get ball out, not hands. Must use own equipment only. There is no pressure on emergency services, you don’t get injured. Only other thing to consider is limiting distance you can travel to the course, say as long as within 10-15 min drive? Must book and pay prior to tee off, all done online. Golf ranges could be opened likewise with some simple tweaks like attendants emptying balls in your cube and own equipment, remove any common touch aspect and keep distances.
  • Posted by Basemaker1971 May 11, 2020 at 18:53

    Keeping body and mind fit, got to be a good idea
  • Posted by iaincats May 11, 2020 at 19:30

    It is not sensible to have closed golf courses. The Scottish Government must tell us the scientific reasons why it is unsafe here but safe in England. Jason Leitch comments had more to do with politics than science.
  • Posted by Hep2020 May 11, 2020 at 20:24

    Introduce ten minute intervals between tee times. Allow golfers to play with members of their household or for those who live on their own with the same additional person in their social bubble. Always maintaining social distancing and the wearing of face coverings in the car park. Essentially play and go.
  • Posted by Claresy May 11, 2020 at 21:12

    This would have great mental health benefits for many. Being able to get outdoors and play a socially distanced ‘bounce game’ would be safe and beneficial to many.
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